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May 2, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”—2 Corinthians 5:17–20 (NIV)
As believers, we have the most amazing, life-changing news to share: the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is both our great and glorious privilege and our mission to share this good news. In today’s passage, the apostle Paul calls us Christ’s ambassadors. That word (presbeúō) speaks of one who acts “as an established statesman or diplomat–a trusted, respected representative who is authorized to speak as an emissary.” It was a term ascribed to official representatives of the Roman Emperor.
Being an ambassador is an enormous responsibility, and there’s also an element of trust involved. Imagine if the President sends you to represent our country at an international meeting. He wants you to characterize what it means to be a citizen of this country, exemplifying hope, freedom, opportunity, truth, and justice. That would be huge, right? But the very fact that he asked you shows he’s confident you can do the job. He believes you can represent him and our country well. He trusts you to speak on his behalf. Similarly, being Christ’s ambassador means you are an official representative of heaven and its King, the Lord God.
But there’s a second aspect of this word ambassador that I find to be very interesting. It means a person who can deal with people in a sensitive and effective way. When you combine those two definitions of ambassador, you understand more clearly what Paul was communicating in 2 Corinthians. He said, “We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
Friends, we’re called to represent Jesus the same way He represented Himself when He walked among us. We’re called to represent Jesus the way Jesus represents us before His Father. Think about that. We are called to intercede on Christ’s behalf to the people in this world the way the Christ intercedes on our behalf before the Father.
That’s how we need to represent Him—sensitively and effectively—to the people in our world: to our friends, our neighbors, our teachers, our classmates, the waitress at the restaurant, the cable TV customer service rep when we call to complain, the homeless man asking for money, the person who is mean to us, the gay person who hates Christians. We are called to represent Jesus to those people with love, compassion, grace, peace, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, and truth as we walk in, live out, and share the good news of the glorious gospel!
DIG: What are the responsibilities of an ambassador?
DISCOVER: How are you living in light of your calling as Christ’s ambassador? In what ways can you grow in your representation of Christ to the world?
DISPLAY: Consider this: God has called you to be His ambassador as though He Himself were making His appeal to the world. That means you are His mouthpiece—His megaphone—to the people around you. But there’s an amazing promise in that calling. Matthew 28:20 (NLT) says, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Romans 8:11 (NLT) says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.” And Hebrews 13:20-22 (NLT) declares, “Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.” Rest in these promises today, friends. Know that you’re not out there alone in this work as an ambassador. He has called you, He has equipped you, and He will work in, through, and around you as you surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the good works He has prepared in advance for you to walk in!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.